PEOPLE living in Darlington will have a third chance to sign up for a scheme that could see their energy bills lowered through collective bargaining.

The Big Community Switch is organised by Darlington Borough Council and is part of a wider, national initiative with iChoosr that sees the gas and electricity suppliers bid to offer energy to the thousands of people that have signed up to take part.

The scheme has opened for new registrations and is available free to everyone in the town, regardless of whether they have pre-payment or standard gas and electricity meters.

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The auction process will take place later this summer when households will find out if they could save money – there is no obligation to take the offer made.

Businesses and community organisations can also take part using a simplified switching process with support from business energy experts Make It Cheaper.

Figures from the first two rounds of the community switch show that eight in ten people who signed up saved money on their energy bills.

Councillor Chris McEwan, the council’s cabinet member for economy, said: “We are very excited to be part of the Big Community Switch and to work with iChoosr to help people in Darlington lower their energy bills.

“There is no obligation to switch, no charge, and you could potentially save money on your gas and electricity. Please take five minutes to register, you have nothing to lose.”

To take part, visit and follow the instructions.

Personal support to register is available from Phill at Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau in Darlington town centre. For more details call 01325-256999, ext 122 or email Businesses and community organisations can call Make It Cheaper on 0800-088-6974.

When signing up you need a current energy bill to hand.

Registration for domestic customers will close on June 9, businesses can sign up until July 20.